Final Fantasy VII: Why it's an unbeatable RPG

CVG: People remember FFVII for its enchanting story, endearing characters and vast, open world, but our foremost memory will always be dressing Cloud up as a prostitute to sneak into a knocking shop.

It was Squaresoft's curious sense of humour and love of the absurd that made it so appealing. Gamers jaded by the humourless Tolkien-inspired fantasy worlds that dominated the genre immediately fell in love with the near-future steampunk setting and Tetsuya Nomura's striking character designs. But beyond its JPRG peculiarities lay a game with incredible depth and variety that you could play for a hundred hours and never get bored of.

It was a masterclass in narrative and pacing, with a story that people still excitedly discuss and debate to this day. The basic premise is that you, a mercenary hired by eco-terrorists, are fighting against a mega-corporation making its money from sucking the life out of the planet and converting it to electricity.

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Pozzle3213d ago

I said this in another article, but I thought it was worth repeating hre... I think a lot of people forget (or simply weren't old enough to know) that for many people, FFVII was their very first RPG. Their very first "big game". There's a reason it's considered such a classic and it has nothing to do with Square's 'milking' of the franchise.

This is a game that came out when developers were still struggling with 3D, especially on the PSone. Game stores were filled with clunky, awkward 3D games with dodgy controls, ugly textures and horrible bloopy soundtracks.

So naturally, people (especially those in the West) were VERY excited for FFVII. I still have my Playstation Magazines from back then, filled with speculation about the game's plot, and "teaser" screenshots that the editors tried to decipher and understand. Meanwhile us readers goggled over the graphics and the characters, wondering how ANY game could possibly be big enough to warrant three whole Playstation discs. Surely it couldn't be real! For months, we read about this ~magical~ game called Final Fantasy VII that was getting rave reviews in Japan for its incredible story, its deep characters, it creepy villain (though everyone got a laugh at Sephiroth's "Out of my way! I'm going to see my mother!" line - Out of context, that screenshot was hilarious!), and it's amazing soundtrack. Nobody could believe the rumors or the screenshots. We had to see the game for ourselves.

FFVII was to RPGs what Resident Evil was to survival-horror and what Super Mario 64 was to 3D platformers.

Whether FFVII is your favorite RPG is all a matter of taste. But when people say it's overrated or it's an average game, I can't help but wonder if they were even gaming back in the PSone days. FFVII is, after all, the game that brought JRPs into the Western mainstream. It opened up a whole new world of possibility to the RPG genre. It definitely deserves the praise, imo.

zeal0us3213d ago

Whats weird FF7 was first rpg. Heck I can say I enjoyed but I felt miserable when I lost it one summer. It was the first game to get me into jrpg. Before that I would only play sport games(mainly tony hawk series) and shooters. It's thanks to that game I actually started expanding out and trying different genres/types of video games.

MaxXAttaxX3212d ago (Edited 3212d ago )

Funny, because I think FF9 was the best FF game on the PS1.

The article talks about some elements as if they hadn't existed before FF7.

(Also, Aerith wasn't very useful. Didn't feel much for her death.)

Elyxir-pSx3212d ago (Edited 3212d ago )

FF9 sucks compared to FFVII and FFVIII imo. I never really got why so many people loved FF9, but I respect their opinion.

FFX and FFVII are my favorites.

zeal0us3212d ago

Typo, mean to say ff7 was my first rpg not the first rpg.

killcycle3212d ago

I personally thought FF8 beat it.

I felt much more attached to the story and it was longer, the cut scenes, music and graphics were much better too.

PooEgg3212d ago

What I loved most about FF8 was the card minigame, the characters, and the story.

NukaCola3212d ago

For me FF VII is one of the greatest RPGs. My personal favorite will always be Chrono Trigger, but FFVII has so many memories. The first time you step off the train, the flower girl on the corner, the great escapes, the little mountain resort...It was amazing. And though it's not neccessarily your favorite, it's still a landmark game. It brought the JRPG into the new age, into 3D, and for the first time pulled away from classic fantasy magic and delivered a very realistic look at industry, and family, and survival across the world. There was a real world here, with so much to see and do and to this day, the game is one of the best paced titles around. I would love to see it remastered for this generation. I think FF VII was a perfect game. Not the be-all-end-all but definitely the standard.

Tex1173212d ago

That might be the most coherent post concerning FFVII I've ever read on the interent.

I have played better RPG's (FFVI, FFIX, Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, Demon's Souls, Suikoden II, Final Fantasy Tactics), but there is no denying that FFVII changed the genere and even the industry as a whole.

Deputydon3212d ago

I was playing rpgs way before FF7. I don't consider it the best. It is a great game, but I do consider it overrated. Personally if I had to pick one single jrpg to play for the rest of my life, it would be something like Chrono Trigger or Xenogears, maybe even FFVI.

I don't really see how a game being the first above average 3d game automatically makes it the best jrpg ever.

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RedDead3213d ago (Edited 3213d ago )

I've wondered why I like it so much, alot of people say it's overrated as "the best FF". But I disagree, I dunno why but I always go back to it. I think it is the mood of the game and sidequests are better than every other FF. You always had some random 'sidequest' come up or some little feature than made you think, or a puzzle or something. Bike game, Chocobo reactor, seriously, play it again, every hour or so there is some random new element to the gameplay, liek saving a little girl, keeping in line with Shinra troops, keepign yourself warm on a mountain...submarine battle etc...the comedy, it takes the piss out of itself. People call Cloud a whiny Emo, when he is only for a brief moment after he kicks the shi* out of Aerith, i'll admit he is fu**ed up the head. Still, the mood of the game is the best.

The music sets up everything an suits everything and everyone. While it doesn't have the best music in FF, it's music suits the game and setting(Mako reactor, Midgar, Cosmo canyon, world map, northern Crater, Temple of the ancients, City of the lost etc) so it's the best gameplay wise, but FFX and 8 simply have better music...hard to desribe. Plus, it still had defensive and offensive lines in the battle system. Which FF8 skipped on for whatever reason. I consider FF8,6 and X closest to it, FF9 I still haven't finished, on second disk though.

Then there was the ending, did humans just die, but get sent to the promised land? THat's what happened Imo(don't give a fu** about S-E cash ins and milking the shi* out of it. I don't consider them cannon)

Then characters and their backstory. Everyone in it has a decent one at least. FF8 didn't really have one until the third disk, where it's shown they all lived together. FF10 had just the interesting world where Tidus knows fu**all about it.

WhiteLightning3213d ago (Edited 3213d ago )

" FF8 didn't really have one until the third disk, where it's shown they all lived together"

Did you miss all the backstory stuff in the first 2 discs because it's there. You just had to look around, talk to people, read things and you had backstory. Even Lagunas dreams are basicaly considered backstory, untill it leads up to the twist that <spoilers incase> Laguna is Squalls dad.

Honestly it's like people totaly forget most of the stuff in FF8 which made it so great and....dare I say it, a better improved game from FF7. For example everyone b*tches about Squall being emo and depressive.....Yeah he is, at the start of the game. Nobody ever comments on his journy from start to finish and talk about the character that we see at the end of the game. FF8 has some of the best character development in FF franchise. Theres so much other stuff that people moan about in FF8 when they've simplely over looked something or they hate it because they don't get it.

Peaceful_Jelly3213d ago (Edited 3213d ago )

I love FFVIII, partly because it was my first FF game and I have beaten it multiple times but story wasn't one of its strong points. What I really liked about FFVIII was the battle system, character designs, the seamless cinematics, the amazing graphics that still holds up today, the music, etc. FFVIII had so much potential but it was ultimately a mess because of the crappy story even though it had it all.

And please don't kid yourself, FFVIII character development was pathetic. All characters have the exact same background story and the game was almost totally ruined with that terrible plot device about the GF causing memory loss. Squall change felt forced as hell and all the other characters lacked a believable personality. On top of that add the random final boss appearance at the third disc when the game went to its most boring point.

FFVIII was an amazing game and a really good FF game but it can't be compared to FFVII. The margin is just too wide.

WhiteLightning3213d ago

How does the character development feel forced, it's spread out nicely over the 4 discs. He dosen;t just change in a flash at one point in the game.

Disc 1: He's a selfish, lonely jerk...Squall being Squall.

Disc 2: He has to take the leader responbility and forced to deal with the conciquences of peoples mistakes around him.

Disc 3: Starts to slowly opne up and get's to know Rinoa more, this would be the point he starts to fall in love with her. He also starts to talk more with his party which he nows classes as friends.

Disc 4: By the end of the game he's become a brave, heroic leader who has managed to open up and connect with the girl of his dreams.

The story wasn't that bad, every FF game has a part in the story where your like "Woah...that's his motive", "What the hell does that mean" or even "This seems stupid but I'll go with it". No story in FF is perfect.

The characters did have their own backgrounds but people just over shadow it with the whole orphanage thing. The characters also had believable personalities. Zell was the cocky clutz, Irvine was "fearless" ladies man, Selphie was the cheerful hyperactive girl, Seifer was the opposite of Squalls character which is why they clashed....I could go on, but I did only say above that Squalls character development was the best in the FF series. I mean FF8 was described as "Squalls Journey" and it's a shame people are negative towards the character because of the person we see at the start of the game not the person he becomes basicaly people missing the whole point of his character.

Oh and the "random boss" at the end of disc mean Sorceress Adel which was talked about since Disc 2 in lagunas dream (the reason they were at war and why Laguna became president).....I wouldn't call that random.

As I said before it seems people over look things in FF8 to make out that FF7 is so great. I agree FF7 made JRPG games more relevent and it also attacted more attention towards them but FF8 and FF9 improved on FF7 ideas and became better games overall.

MrSpace3213d ago (Edited 3213d ago )

WL there is no point bringing up good points like me it's a waste of time. Your right it seems like people miss parts of FF8 so they can nit pick about it so FF7 stands out more.

My favorite complaints people say about FF8

"The junction system is too complicated" but in the next sentence people usualy go "You can easily get your health to 9999 when you know what to do".

So what is it, complicated or easy...

"Squall is an emo"

You've already said most of the points to this complaint. Do people forget that Squall had a sad childhood. His mother died at child birth, he never knew her, he never knew his father, he was put in an orphanage, he relied and put his trust into one girl he called "sis" (Ellone) and she was taken away from him like everything else in his life. So he became the person we see at the start of the game, why do you think we see so many flashbacks of young Squall standing in the rain, devestated over the loss of Ellone". It's pretty sad when you think about it. But your right it is about Squalls journey during the game.

"I can't be arsed to draw in battle, it's crap"

You don't need to draw in battle for magic, I never used draw in battle and I had a ton of magic by the end of the game...thank you island of heaven and hell. You really only had to use draw if you wanted a GF off the person your fighting.

It's like people just want to nit pick it because at the time people were upset it wasn't a direct sequel to FF7. It was differen't, it was more futuristic and modern then previous FF titles.

Turst me if that game was made BEFORE FF7 then FF8 would of been classed as the best FF game ever, same applies to FF9 if that was in FF7's place.

Nerdmaster3212d ago

"Do people forget that Squall had a sad childhood."

Yes, we forgot it. But so did he, because he used GFs :P

Deputydon3212d ago

I agree with WL. People seem so obsessed over FF7 that they just seem to act like no other FF games exist. In terms of 3d FF games 8 is being far my favorite with 9 the next in line. It's shocking how many people hate on 8. It makes me wonder if they even played it past the first ten minutes. It's such an incredible game and probably has the best music of any FF game. The only downfall is that the game was fairly easy aside from a few side bosses.

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Pozzle3213d ago (Edited 3213d ago )

"People call Cloud a whiny Emo, when he is only for a brief moment after he kicks the shi* out of Aerith"

I can't help but think the people who believe Cloud is whiny/emo have let the Compilation ruin their perception of him. Because he was actually quite cheery and talkative in the original game. Even when he found out the truth about Zack towards the end of FFVII, and reverted back to his 'normal' self, he was still the same ol' spikey-headed dork who made akward jokes and said silly things like "Let's mosey!" and "We'll be turned into crispy critters!"

(Haha. Could you imagine Compilation-Cloud saying something silly like "Let's mosey!" before fighting Sephiroth? If there is ever a new FFVII game, Square really needs to give Cloud back some of his fun/dorky personality).

Peaceful_Jelly3213d ago (Edited 3213d ago )

FFVII has so much stuff going for it (more than just the death of a lovable main character) like that part when you visit Hojo's Lab and you see the walls covered in blood from all the people Sephiroth(the fake one) killed when he went to free his mother. The music and the atmosphere it was like if I were playing an horror game.

Seriously, FFVII is really dark compared to later FF games and that's exactly what I liked so much about about FFVI too. That they both are so moody, tense and serious while later FF games are more lighthearted and the last 2 feels too StaWarish with its crappy future settings. But when I was starting to lose hope on the franchise FFvsXIII came up and it looks like it's gonna live up to the hype of FFVII fans with its darker setting. No more Star Wars stuff or retarded main characters like Vaan and Tidus.

I only played FFVII for the first time ever on May of last year but I'm already feeling like beating it for a second time now. Maybe a FFVII marathon on Thanksgiving's vacation of this year after I get my new PS3.

kx113212d ago

why ? because it's the dead horse every small gaming site write about to gain traffic

i'm a huge ff7 nerd but damn it people !!

Ddouble3212d ago

Good times and Good Memories.

Simco8763212d ago

I was thinking this the whole time I was reading the article. I remember bringing print outs of screenshots to Junior High just too look at when I was bored...

Best RPG of all time

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